Posted on Monday, October 24th, 2011 by Germain Lussier
Come 2012, Harry Potter will no longer be on DVD shelves. Warner Bros. just made an announcement that as of December 29, 2011 all copies of Harry Potter movies, including the November 11 releases of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, and Harry Potter: The Complete 8-Film Collection will be taken out of circulation. It’s a move reminiscent of Disney, who releases films on home video and then, after several months, puts them in “The Disney Vault” increasing the value of previously released product and creating interest in an eventual re-release. Let Pottermania begin again. Read more after the jump.
Deadline ran the press release which reads as follows and contains some staggering numbers.
Harry Potter, the #1 motion picture franchise of all time, will soon disappear from shelves, as Warner Bros. stops shipping all Harry Potter theatrical film titles (including Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows™ – Part 2, and Harry Potter: The Complete 8-Film Collection) as of December 29, 2011 (moratorium does not include digital – Electronic Sell-Through & VOD – or games). The Harry Potter franchise has grossed more than $12.1 billion for Warner Bros. Entertainment – with $7 billion at the worldwide box office for Warner Bros. Pictures and $5.1 billion for Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, and Harry Potter: The Complete 8-Film Collection will both be released on November 11 and with the newly imposed window, will surely become even hotter items then they would have been anyway. As you likely read above, the Potter franchise has pulled in almost as much on home video as it has at the worldwide box office. It’s a staggering number. [EDIT: An earlier version of this story incorrectly interpreted the numbers in the press release.]
So why pull this move so soon and limit the amount of money you can make? Most likely simple supply and demand. Warner Bros. will surely play up the “Limited time” availability of all the discs making families rush out and buy them as soon as possible and at virtually any price. Then, once they’re gone, they can wait and re-release each and every disc again in a special return offering. Limiting the availability automatically makes an otherwise normal piece of merchandise more valuable. It’s a page straight out of Disney’s uber-successful playbook. Disney, however, doesn’t usually make the release window seven weeks long, especially not a brand new release of the year’s highest grossing film.
Do you understand Warner Bros. plan with this? Will you be rushing out to order, or pre-order, Deathly Hallows Part 2 or the complete series?